We have been looking at the place of silence within the celebration of Mass over the past few weeks. Last week, we looked at the place of silence during the Liturgy of the Word.
We now conclude by returning to where we started – the period for silent prayer after communion.
During the Act of Penitence and Opening Prayer, the purpose of the periods of silence is to allow for the recollection of our thoughts and intentions. The silent periods during the Liturgy of the Word allow us to reflect on the scriptures that are proclaimed and the message offered to us in the homily.
The period of silence after communion comes almost at the end of the Mass. We have just received the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Eucharist. As such, the period of silence after communion is a time for thanksgiving.
Sometimes after communion, we may also join together in singing a hymn of praise. This allows us to collectively join in thanksgiving for the profound gift we have received, and for all the blessings we have been graced with.